Kaspersky researchers have identified that some threat actors are cashing on the opportunity against interested Windows 11 users.

They’ve seen ISO images and installer files named Windows 11 and have malware in them. Unsuspicious users installing these files by ignoring warnings will have their system infected and hacked.

Malware Spreading through Fake Windows 11 Files

Microsoft bumping the hardware requirements for supporting Windows 11 has hit the budget community hard. The maker has increased the requirements to be at least Intel’s 8th-gen or AMD Zen 2 core chips and support security protocols like TPM and Secure Boot.

These base requirements have left most PCs out of the ecosystem, as bumping hardware means additional money, unlike easy software. This led few to run the latest OS in emulators or set additional hardware or tweak existing ones to support running it.

But, a community wants it as a general ISO image that can be installed and run simple. And cashing on this opportunity are the fraudsters who’re seeding malware into fake Windows 11 files and distributing them on the internet.

People who’re scouring through torrents and untrusted websites for Windows 11 are reaching these malicious files, where Kaspersky researchers said a couple of installers are infecting such unsuspicious users.

A file named 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe is circulating in the wild, making people think of a legitimate Windows 11 OS with an activation key. It’s sized 1.75GB and comes with an additional installer calling itself a download manager.

These, if downloaded and tried, will get adware or a malware trojan in the process. While adware is frustratingly fine compared to trojans, as they only serve intrusive ads rather than stealing data or reconnaissance.

Yet, having them in your system is unwanted and unsafe. So wait until Microsoft officially releases an ISO image, or try enrolling yourself into the Windows Insider program, where you can test beta builds of Windows 11.


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